I will begin by telling you that I am an "old head". I came into the USAF during Vietnam and the Cold War. My plan was to stay four years and then return to Florida to pursue a career in engineering. But plans don't always work out. My wife and I soon realized that the Air Force was where we wanted to be. There was something very special about being around people who put their jobs and the mission ahead of themselves, and we both wanted to remain part of that kind of organization. And that describes quite well the USAF, and you no doubt see this every day. So 28 years later, I retired from active duty, but never really "left" the Air Force. You don't leave FAMILY behind, and that is how I still feel about the Air Force.
I can honestly say I would not trade one minute of my active duty service. Sure, it was tough at times, but important things usually are tough. The Air Force of today is far different in many ways form the one I joined. But one thing remains the same -- dedicated people doing what needs to be done to defend our nation. Anywhere. Anytime.
I can assure you all of us who have served understand your dedication and sacrifice. As a member of the Air Force Association, and currently serving as the Chairman of the Board, we will do all we can to ensure you have the right equipment, facilities, and training to do your job. And importantly, if you have a family, that they are properly cared for.
Again, thanks for what you do. It is vitally important. And most appreciated!